Saturn's cycles signal the need for maturation, discernment, respect and responsibility. She reminds us of the power of NO, setting boundaries, defining and developing trust for our inner knowing so that we don't live lives authored by some external authority. He tells us that we really must do what we know we must do. They are there to strengthen us as the struggle to emerge from the chrysalis makes us strong enough to fly.
Every 29.5 years or so, Saturn returns to the place it was at the moment of our blessed birth. Around the ages of 29, 58 and 87, we are ushered into a deepened understanding and acceptance of reality. It often isn't comfortable. Particularly for us the first time around, astrological adulthood can provide some unwelcome, but ultimately beneficial wake-the-fuck-up calls. Some discomfort is there to help us grow. Some discomfort gives us information about what to avoid, what habit patterns aren't serving us and gives us the strength and willingness to change. Pain reminds us that we are alive and mortal, that our time is finite.
The stone associated with Saturn is the diamond. Like this precious rock, we all start off as coal. After many years of tremendous pressure, we harden, crystallize and arrive at our Saturn return sharper and more powerful than ever before. We often wrap up projects that began thirty years before and embark on endeavors that will take that many years to complete. When we make commitments, Saturn is there. We can and should question the manipulated value of diamonds as a symbol of commitment and the exploitation of people and the earth that is associated. I prefer the more reasonably priced diamonds that come on stone sculpting tools and record players and ones sourced with the most stringent ethical considerations in mind.
Saturn returns are times to do what we should, to work hard, not under the duress that is capitalism, but for our big life works that reflect purpose and meaning. We choose to commit to divorce or to marry, to sculpt stone, to write that book, to take that professional challenge on, to lift those weights literal and metaphoric. We begin to accept that what we now think of as career is a winding, non-linear path that is about purposefulness and service. Being of use in ways that align with our values are good ways to honor and celebrate any point in a Saturn cycle (we feel can feel the influence of Saturn transits prepare us for the returning throughout our lives). Sacrifice means to make sacred. How can you consecrate your one and only current life?
Here are a few ways to make your time & energy sacred:
-Know (REALLY know) that you are the ultimate authority on your life. Breathe that in and refuse to live your life any other way.
-Validate yourself. External validation will only keep you doing what other people want you to be doing.
-Wear black (color sacred to Saturn) especially on Saturn's day (Saturday).
-Eat black sesame seeds & make an offering of them as well.
-Strength training & climbing to honor your inner sea goat (Capricorn is sign associated with Saturn)
-Embrace aloneness & solitude. Place the Hermit card on your altar and meditate on its messages.
-Do what you've always wanted to do, but breaks a patriarch's taboo. Live your life for yourself, not your father (or the most domineering of your primary care givers).
-Discipline yourself. Restraint can be liberating.
-Donate clothes. Get rid of stuff not so much because it doesn't spark joy, but because it's not useful to who you are now and to who you are striving to become.
-Plan & Strategize. Use time wisely and intentionally. Calendars can be compelling tools.
-Thank your teachers & mentors and/or become one.
-Take care of your health, especially your teeth (the only visible part of your skeletal system which as that which gives structure & rigidity to the body is certainly in Saturn's domain)
-Do your propers.
-Honor your ancestors.
-Commit yourself (can be to a thirty year project or idea that's wanting to be made tangible as much as to a person). If you're wanting to be married and not yet, marry yourself.
-Get reality checks, but if they don't resonate with your inner knowing let 'em go.
-Hoop. Nothing like literally having a boundary around your body to practice having your very own swirling rings of protection.
-Push through the resistance that isn't serving you and allow that which is to act as a guidepost along your long path forward.
-Take breaks. Saturnal work is a marathon, not a sprint.
-Sleep on it. If you're not sure, say "maybe" and take some time to mull it over. If you know it's a "no," practice saying it.
-Have boundaries of love replace your walls of fear.
-Get real cozy with the fact that you are aging and embrace the sweet, terrible fact that you will die. Intimacy with this reality helps us live.
On the precipice of my Saturn return in Libra, I narrowed my worldly possessions down to four bags and crossed the country to see if the long distant (originally a typo, but more accurate than "distance" so leaving it as is) relationship I was in had legs (it didn't). Determined to live alone, I found a tiny hermitage in the city I'd just tried to leave. It was supposed to be a two month sublet which I've lived in for going on eight years. I started to say no without apology (learning that I didn't even need an explanation took a few more years). This is when I finally began to give astrology readings professionally. I met my future spouse and started experimenting with monogamy after a decade of polyamory. I focused and committed. I finally got this website going. I worked hard to rebuild my life in a way that reflected what I most needed to thrive. I quit smoking. I started meditating daily. I figured out that because my mother had had me when she was 27 years old that, as her firstborn, I had been her Saturn return rite of passage. We started to understand each other much more, as adults, in a new way with much more clarity and respect. It was really potent time. I'm already looking forward to the next one.
As a student of astrology, it was as if I had been preparing for it my whole life (though I hear that a sense of having arrived or levelled up happens for folks turning thirty who don't know anything about astrology too). In my mid twenties, I found myself dreading the experience. I felt overwhelmed and scared. Fortunately, I spoke with a lot of brilliant astrological colleagues and teachers who assured and reassured me, guided me and encouraged me through the initiation. Turns out that I had nothing to be scared of. Yes, I went all in on love and from one vantage point, I lost it all, but from where I am now, I see clearly how much I really gained. Folks who are already on their path in some way are less likely to be knocked down by this experience. If you do get knocked down by it, don't kick and scream and resist (though that may be an important part of the process too). Always ask, what can I learn from this? How can I grow (hint: Saturnal growth requires a fair amount of weeding a la learning to let go)?
May your experiences with Saturn be blessed with wise restraint and enduring acceptance.
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